Hey Jon, do you have any advice or tips for somebody who's trying to get into the whole design world. Unfortunately I don't really have the money for schooling, so I've been trying to teach myself a few things here and there. But it seams like I haven't gotten very far. Thank you.
You don’t need schooling to be a designer, plain and simple. Don’t let that be a hurdle. I taught myself how to design in middle school and haven’t stopped since then. I drew everything I wanted to design with pencils and Sharpie markers in my early days and then got a copy of Photoshop 3.0 from a friend and taught myself how to use that as well. The only thing you really need to be a designer is the passion to want to do it. That’s it. Everything else is easy.
The great thing about being a designer is that most of the tools you need are in your head. The rest is just production.
Hey Jon, do you have any tips about finding a job at a design studio? I have been cold emailing studios and also replying to job postings and I haven't gotten much of a response. Is there something you did to help get noticed when first starting out?
Now’s the perfect time to start building your online presence. Luckily these days all you really need to do is be VERY persistent on social media and people will start paying attention whether they like it or not. The days of cold calls are long gone unfortunately (and fortunately) so I’m not surprised you’re not getting much of a response.
Honestly, your best bet these days is to create a personal project or two and promote the hell out of it. People want to see what you’re capable of and if you’re able to come up with something really unique, or at the very least executed well, then it will be a great way to start turning some heads. Show the world that you’re a one-stop shop for doing great work and then they’ll start emailing you.
The whole process will take more work, but in the long run it will not only garner more attention, but it will make you a stronger designer and project manager as well.
I’ve written this essay a hundred times already, always hitting different angles and trying to cover everything, but it’s just not possible. I’m going to keep it short and sweet and dedicate it to those who’ve been there for me and lead by example as I’ve developed as a professional and a person. My heroes and my role models — the ones who taught me to defend my choices and be true to my gut instincts. The ones who taught me that when the going gets tough, the tough don’t break down in moments of weakness and make bad choices. I hope this means something to someone.